For a Southern soirée, consider this modern-meets-rustic setting that looks like it’s straight out of a Nicholas Sparks novel.
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Charleston may be a popular city for tying the knot, but there’s another, much smaller place in South Carolina worth traveling to for saying your I do’s. Head two hours north to Rains to exchange vows at Wildberry Farm. Here is what you need to know about the venue and the ideas to help you plan your wedding like a local.
Photography: Rackley Photography2 of 14
Wildberry Farm is quietly hidden among acres of beautiful foliage, natural streams, and indigenous trails. The South Carolina-based floral and event product company Blossoms Events built, owns, and operates the space that opened in June 2013. To date, 40 weddings have been celebrated on the property. Claim the space for as low as $1,500 for a weeknight affair or splurge for the three-day weekend rate of $5,000. There’s a slew of affordable and fun ways to spend the days leading up to the big one, too.
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On-site lodging? Check! The one-bedroom, loft-style cottage on Wildberry Farm is included in the rental package and was designed with the Mr. and Mrs. in mind. Couples can share the suite on their wedding night before catching a flight for their honeymoon the following day, or a bride and her party can pack makeshift beds and crash sleepover-style for a day or two leading up to the wedding.
Photography: The Grove Inn4 of 14
Quaint bed-and-breakfast lodges are sprinkled throughout the area surrounding Wildberry Farm. We recommend reserving accommodations for your family and wedding party nearby at two inns deeply rooted in southern hospitality: The Grove (from $125/night) in Marion and The Columns (from $129/night) in Dillon. You’ll find commercial hotels for the remainder of your guest list just one hour away in Myrtle Beach.
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Greet invitees with a unique take on the state snack. Rather than including a pouch full of boiled peanuts in your welcome bags, surprise guests with homemade buckeyes instead. No peeling or shelling is required for this bite-size treat, and their acorn shape echoes the foliage they’ll soon find on Wildberry Farm.
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Photography: MYFWBS.blogspot.com6 of 14
Guests will acclimate to the area quickly once stepping inside The Bowery. A stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean in Myrtle Beach, the bar is a city mainstay dating back to 1944. Live music reigns supreme at this unapologetically lively joint, and a regional group takes the stage each night at 8:30 playing for partygoers well into the wee hours.
Photography: Patricia Lyons Photography7 of 14
South Carolina is a state known for its wildlife and waterways. Encourage guests to tap into their inner fisherman by planning an optional day trip with Myrtle Beach’s Voyager Fishing Charters, which can take adventurers 15 miles offshore to where they can cast a line (offered Wednesday and Saturday until 2 p.m., from $35).
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The Rehearsal Dinner
Take advantage of Wildberry Farm’s acreage by casually dining under the stars following the ceremony rehearsal. Seafood fare and Southern cuisine are menu musts, so order from Mr. Fish, an eatery locals swear by that also caters. The platter of “Lowcountry Favorites” includes shrimp and grits, mini crab cakes, red beans and rice, blue cheese cole slaw, collard greens, marinated tomato and cucumber salad, and green beans. And at $25 per person, you can order enough to fill tables (and stomachs) without breaking the bank.
All that spice and salt will require a thirst-quencher. Turn to New South Brewery in Myrtle Beach for kegs of microbrews or, for fancier folks, serve Firefly cocktails and sweet tea bourbons.
Photography: Young Photography9 of 14
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The Barn on Wildberry Farm is a 9,300-square-foot space that can accommodate around 300 guests and is primed for a roof-raising reception: 160 white Chiavari chairs, two custom barnwood bars, fully installed sound and lighting equipment, and climate-control options are all included in the standard rental package. And with no defined “peak season,” the prices stay consistent, no matter which month you wed.
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Photography: Amanda Mae Photography11 of 14
The Lounge Area
The wraparound portico provides a place for guests to mix, mingle, and take a dance break during the reception. Couples could also plan a cocktail hour with passed hors d’oeuvres on this relaxed extension of the larger barn.
Photography: Kara Stovall12 of 14
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Transform the sprawling property with just the addition of outdoor seating in playfully mismatched shades, patterned linens, and garden flowers for a Sunday brunch with your nearest and dearest to share pictures and stories from the night’s celebration.
Photography: Jennifer Grimsley14 of 14
Cure departure blues by serving a bounty of baked goods. Freeman’s Bakery, a 50-year-old shop in nearby Florence makes its goodies (like the “nutty knots” shown here) from scratch and delivers. Other specialty items like German-chocolate coffee cake, cinnamon-raisin buns, cherry-cheese Danishes, and fried croissants will leave guests in good spirits for their travels home. (Note: The bakery is closed on Sundays, so ask for day-ahead delivery, if needed.)